"This significant book is necessary reading for those who wish to understand the construction of public order and the transformation of urban institutions in the nineteenth century."—American Historical ReviewMastering Wartime is the first comprehensive study of a Northern city during the Civil War. J. Matthew Gallman argues that, although the war posed numerous challenges to Philadelphia's citizens, the city's institutions and traditions proved to be sufficiently resilient to adjust to the crisis without significant alteration. Following the wartime actions of individuals and groups-workers, women, entrepreneurs-he shows that while the war placed pressure on private and public organizations to centralize, Philadelphia's institutions remained largely decentralized and tradition bound.
"Thanks in part to Gallman's efforts, we may well have an understanding of the meanings of the Civil War on the home front and in the localities that complements and enhances our understanding of its great significance for the nation as a whole."—Reviews in American History
Gallman explores the war's impact on a wide range of aspects of life in Philadelphia. Among the issues addressed are recruitment and conscription of soldiers, individual responses to wartime separation and death, individual and institutional benevolence, civic rituals, crime and disorder, government contracting, and long-term economic development. The book compares the wartime years to the antebellum period and discusses the war's legacies in the postwar decade.
J. Matthew Gallman is Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College and author of Receiving Erin's Children: Philadelphia, Liverpool, and the Irish Famine Migration, 1845-1855.